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    All-female C-130H crew participates in international air show


    C-130Hercules.net

    947029925_2019_10_28AllFemale.png.57fdfa27b1880f336ddf10d352b10b53.png

    Aircrew assigned to the 189th Operations Group flew to Abbottsford, Canada, Oct. 5, 2019, to participate in the annual Girls Fly Too, Women in Aviation symposium. The all-female crew, including pilots Lt. Col. Kenda Garrett and Maj. Janelle Guillebeau, navigator Lt. Col. Sarah O’Banion, flight engineer Master Sgt. Erin Evans, and loadmasters Tech. Sgt. Nicole Beck and Senior Airman Ashlyn Hendrickson stopped in Colorado Springs on the way up to Canada and picked up the Wings of Blue female jump team along with their jump master and staff. Along with the aircrew, Staff Sgt. Tracie Winston and Staff Sgt. Jessica McGilton, two crew chiefs from the 189th Maintenance Group, accompanied the crew to provide maintenance if necessary.

     

    “The jump was challenging,” said Lt. Col. Sarah O’Banion, a 189th navigator and Chief of Safety. “I gotta say, though, we had an awesome all-female 189th Herk crew. We were able to get them at their minimum altitude of 2,500 feet and drop the jump team at their target.”

     

    The 189th OG does not have many female aviators in the unit, however, the group was able to gather one full crew to accomplish the mission with their crew chief Staff Sgt. Jessica McGilton, of the 189th Maintenance Group. In a predominately male-oriented career field, the representation of female aviators was created to inspire future female aviatrix.

     

    Female aviators, while somewhat commonplace now, were almost unheard of during the early days of aviation. Pioneering women from Amelia Earhart, who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, to Brig. Gen. Jeannie Marie Leavitt, the first female fighter pilot in the United States Armed Forces, has established a firm base for young girls who have a dream of flying. During the event, O’Banion expressed that she wanted the young girls attending the event to realize that they are capable of doing anything they want if they are passionate about their dream and put their minds to it.

     

    “It was neat seeing a variety of not just girls and their brothers, but a lot of girls who were interested in what we do,” said O’Banion. “It’s not so much of a diversity thing but it employs the fact that they’re seeing women do jobs as normalcy within a male-centric career field. I hope the girls that came out here see us doing this job and realize that it’s not just a male-oriented career field; it’s something that anyone can achieve if they’re passionate about it.”

     

    Until World War II, women in the U.S. were barred from flying for the military. During this time the only women pilots that were allowed to fly for the military were civilians known as the Women’s Auxiliary Ferry Squadron also know as WAFS and others representing the Women Air Force Service Pilots or WASP. In Fall of 1942, twenty-eight women aviators were officially designated as WAFS or WASP, earning their civilian pilot training wings at government expense through the civilian pilot training programs at different colleges throughout the U.S. Although this transition was a huge step for women in aviation, it was not until 1970s, during the women’s movement, that females became official military aviators.

     

    At present, approximately six percent of the Air Force aviation community is female. Through the hard work, dedication, courage and military training, U.S. military women aviators continue to achieve air equality in the military. Aircrew assigned to the 189th Operations Group flew to Abbottsford, Canada, Oct. 5, 2019, to participate in the annual Girls Fly Too, Women in Aviation symposium. The all-female crew, including pilots Lt. Col. Kenda Garrett and Maj. Janelle Guillebeau, navigator Lt. Col. Sarah O’Banion, flight engineer Master Sgt. Erin Evans, and loadmasters Tech. Sgt. Nicole Beck and Senior Airman Ashlyn Hendrickson stopped in Colorado Springs on the way up to Canada and picked up the Wings of Blue female jump team along with their jump master and staff. Along with the aircrew, Staff Sgt. Tracie Winston and Staff Sgt. Jessica McGilton, two crew chiefs from the 189th Maintenance Group, accompanied the crew to provide maintenance if necessary.

    Source: 

    https://www.189aw.ang.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2000585/all-female-c-130h-crew-participates-in-international-air-show/
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